Hearth and Home is set to expand the content and activities around your Viking base, and some of this expansion is bound to include the variety of building materials at your disposal. Right now, most building options are comprised of wood and stone, with iron making a special appearance every now and then. Hearth and Home will probably expand this list, potentially adding more late-game materials like those found in the plains biome.
Early game building requires the player to be near a workbench, which is also used to craft a wide variety of tools and equipment. Later workbench variants, like the stone cutter and artisan table, are used for a few building and crafting recipes but not much else. It's probable that these later-game crafting stations will receive more recipes for players to decorate their homes with.
Official statements by Iron Gate have been sparse on new building material details, but we do have one thing to work from: the crow picture.
This picture was attached to Iron Gate's announcement on steam along with the caption, "What do you think this could be?" At first glance, the image appears to be a crow resting on some sort of wooden mast. But upon further inspection, it's clear that this crow is actually a part of the mast itself and is attached to what appears to be the top of a roof. Right now in Valheim, a similar figurehead item exists that resembles the head of a dragon.
While the dragon head is relatively cheap to build, this crow figure may be more challenging considering it’s the only image of the update we've seen so far. There are already multiple crows in the game, from the one that drops you off in the world to the one that acts as a tutorial guide. However, it's unclear if this crow figure is somehow related. The roof tiles the figure is attached to also look different to the two current thatch roof variants in the game, suggesting that new roofing options may be on their way.
More recipes in the game may mean more ingredients as well. Right now there are multiple crops like carrots and barley, but there are only a few recipes for each. Additional ingredients or tameable beasts would add more sources to supply these new recipes.
Iron Gate’s lead artist, Robin Eyre, also has said in streams that the update may bring new cooking stations in addition to the game's current two. This could give players a way to mix up their Viking's diet using ingredients already found within the game.
Sadly, when Valheim's first major update will be released is still up in the air. But there are some clues we can turn to for a decent guesstimate. The game's roadmap currently lists four major updates, and the team is hoping to leave Early Access by next year. With eight months left in 2021, it's safe to assume that the Hearth and Home update will release sometime in late April or May. Until then, players will have to continue wondering what that crow teaser image could possibly mean.
Nicolas Perez is a journalist who has played way too much Civilization 5. He's rambling on Twitter @Nic_Perez_.